This story begins a few decades ago, when there was a dead cat epidemic in the United Kingdom.
Britain had been caught up in a whirlwind of speedsters whizzing around the countryside, trying to break Guinness World Records for fastest road trips across the continent.
The speedy drivers were travelling 80 miles an hour through 30 mile an hour villages, and the village’s poor damn cats couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.
Dead cats everywhere.
It was a true crisis, and one without a solution, until John Taylor came on to the scene.
Everyone has their niche, and John’s was driving economically.
He approached the Guinness people, and suggested they change the record to the most ECONOMICAL drive across the countryside – thereby allowing people to stay within the speed limits, while also saving fuel, helping the planet, and allowing hundreds of cats to grow old.
It was a winning concept, and the rest, as they say, was history.
John now holds 92 world records in fuel economy (did we mention he was VERY good at economical driving) with his wife Helen, and the two of them are known globally as the world’s most fuel efficient couple.
It was no wonder that Ford Australia decided to bring them on board to help showcase Ford’s range of economical EcoBoost vehicles, while we learnt some fuel saving tips from the world’s most qualified experts.
For those of us (I mean me) who are fairly lazy drivers, the EcoBoost range basically does all the hard work for us. The engine technology conserves fuel, reduces emissions and doesn’t cut corners on performance. Team that with popular models like the Ford Focus, Mondeo and the highly sought-after Mustang, and you’ve got yourself a winning combo.
So here’s what I learnt (other than that amazing cat story):
- The guys cruising around the city in their Mustangs aren’t doing it for show. IT’S FOR FUEL ECONOMY GUYS! I knew there was a reason. Keeping a consistent speed and rolling through the city’s hot spots isn’t so you can check out how cool they are. It’s to keep the fuel economy down. No need to zip in and out of lanes – keep it steady and you’ll save in the long run.
- But what about their windows being rolled down you ask? Aerodynamics doesn’t kick in until the car is going over 80kms, so you can cruise with your windows down and sun roof open (& super fly tunes pumping) without impacting your fuel economy. Over 80kms/hr – do them up and watch your bank account fatten up. Oh yeah.
- Braking uses up more fuel than accelerating. Who knew?? Certainly not me. An overseas taxi driver (battling insane streets like those of Indonesia, India, Thailand – you get my drift) was taught by John Taylor how to ease on to the accelerator and brakes, and in a year he saved enough cash for a new taxi. Not even kidding. He owns 6 taxis now and loves John and his fuel economy wisdom (as we all will soon enough).
- Carrying golf clubs around in your boot? How about 8 bags of clothes you’re meant to be dropping off at the Salvos but never got around to? All that extra weight uses a massive amount of fuel. Ditch your cargo and you’ll save money in fuel that you can now use for new clothing! Clever huh?
- When was the last time you checked your tyres? If they are even 1psi below where they are meant to be, you are losing 3% of your fuel efficiency. Sounds like it’s time for me to ask the husband to check my tyres…
- Good fuel, good oils, servicing – it all counts. Not rocket science, but keep your car in tune and you’ll get better fuel economy.
- Just buy a better car. I know which ones Ford will want me to recommend 😉 The EcoBoost range are actually fab for doing all the hard work for you (and they didn’t even pay me to say that). Team that with some great fuel saving driving and you’re on to a winner, while helping minimise your impact on the planet.